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Tree Felling

Updated: Aug 26, 2021

All the need to knows and How To's about Tree Felling

Safety Safety Safety

Last week in our weekly email, we touched on Tree Felling and Chainsaw equipment safety. CLICK HERE to catch up on what you missed last week! 

Tree Felling Safely

As you probably already know, Tree Felling is one of the most dangerous jobs performed by foresters. Fun Fact: In history, burning trees at the base was a way of felling trees before the method gave way to chopping at trees with stone implements, like Tomahawks. [1] Below we've outlined the step-by-step process on safely assessing your preliminaries before beginning to cut. SOURCE:

Properly Assess Your Surroundings: In this assessment, you need to establish how to get out of a situation safely. If there are any hazards present, you need to start by identifying and adjusting accordingly:

  • Electrical Hazards

  • Lodged branches close to falling (also known as Widow Makers)

  • Large dead sections which will fall directly downward when making a cut

  • Hidden hazards such as vines which could cause the tree to fall off course or suspend the tree

Assess the LEAN of the tree: A forward, back, or side lean will indicate what you need to compensate for when making your first cut to get the tree where it needs to go. Also, take note of the branch structure, branches leaning on one side or the other will also determine which way the tree will fall when it's released. 

Clean Your Work Zone: Clear your work zone of any brush, debris or tripping hazards to ensure the safety of yourself and your crew members during your exit plan.

Establish an Exit Plan: Before cutting into the base of the tree, establish an exit route 15ft away from the base of the tree to clear safely in the event the fell doesn't go as planned.

Time to Cut Some Trees

There are many ways to fell a tree depending on the size, lean direction, slope of the terrain and size of your chainsaw. Here's a list of felling types:

  • Straight from behind felling cut

  • From behind felling cut using bumper spike

  • Saved edge method, smaller trees

  • Bore Cut

  • Safe Corner Method

For more information on each of the felling types, check out the link:




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✅Just as an addition, general safety solutions also include:

  • ensuring sufficient and qualified resources are on site (equipment, skilled arborists and workers)

  • ensuring qualified people are on site to enable appropriate decision making of work to be carried out

  • only using equipment designed and rated for the intended purpose (such as ropes, cables, correct sized chainsaw and wedges)

  • ensuring those undertaking the work are adequately trained and that safe work practices are being adhered to

  • never asking for the assistance of untrained people (client or member of public)

  • assessing and controlling all environmental factors

  • establishing appropriate exclusion zones where residential premises, persons or public access are in the vicinity

  • only undertaking jobs within the capability of you or your team.


Process of Trimming Trees

You can certainly trim your own trees, but here at tree trimming Pretoria, we don’t recommend it - and that’s not just because we want your business. Whenever possible, you should hire a professional arborist to trim the trees on your property. It takes years of specialized training and experience to know which branches to remove and how. You have to factor in your goals for pruning as well as the species, age, and size of the tree. Then, there are various steps that need to be taken to evaluate the safety and strategy for cutting certain branches.

Why is trimming, pruning so important?

The Benefits of Pruning

Reasons to prune plants include deadwood removal, shaping…

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